- by Howard Pyle
I'm reading (listening to) over again The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. This is the second book in a fantasy series and many of the characters are immortal versions of past real people .... the good guys are the alchemist Nicholas Flamel and the legendary Celtic female warrior Scáthach, staying in Paris with teenage twins from San Francisco named Josh and Sophie, at the house of the Count of St. Germain and his wife, Joan of Arc (yep, she escaped the pyre). The evil ones, John Dee and Niccolò Machiavelli, are hot on their trail. I've reached the point in the story where Nicholas discribes famous magical swords ... Excalibur, Clarent, Joyeuse, Curtana, and Durendal, among others. Some of these are well known, like Excalibur (and Clarent, which Mordred used to kill Arthur), but I thought I'd mention the three others, which are connected.
Joyeuse was the sword of Charlemagne, and is mentioned in The Song of Roland. It supposedly holds the Spear of Destiny within its pommel, and now lives at the Louvre ....
Another sword mentioned in that poem is Durendal...
Durendal ... is the sword of Charlemagne's paladin Roland .... In The Song of Roland, the sword is said to contain within its golden hilt one tooth of Saint Peter, blood of Saint Basil, hair of Saint Denis, and a piece of the raiment of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the poem, Count Roland attempts to destroy the sword to prevent it from being captured by the ambushing Saracens and creates La Brèche de Roland in the Pyrenees in the process. But Durendal proves indestructible, so he hides it beneath his body along with the oliphant, the horn used to alert Charlemagne.
- The death of Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux, from an illuminated manuscript c.1455–1460
And another was Curtana, said to belong to Ogier the Dane, a friend (eventually) of Charlemagne's who's also portrayed in The Song of Roland. The sword supposedly bore the inscription "My name is Cortana, of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durendal."
- H.P. Pedersen-Dan's statue of Ogier/Holger Danske at Kronborg castle, Denmark
I recommend the The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott - fun with lots of mythology, magic, and history. You can read about other mythical objects here at Wikipedia.